Payments to Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals are strictly limited in what sources of income they are authorized to accept and all payments are taxable unless an exception under a treaty or IRS code applies.

  • B-1, B-2, VWB and VWT are prohibited from being employed but may be paid under the Honorarium Rule conditions.
  • F-1 and J-1 students may be employed on and off-campus under certain circumstances.  Off-campus (non-UW) employment requires specific work authorization from International Student Services (ISS) prior to accepting employment. 
  • F-1 students may be eligible for 12 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT).
  • F-1 students in STEM fields may be eligible for a 17 month extension of  their OPT.
  • J-1 non-students may be employed on campus.  Permission to work off campus (non-UW employment) is restricted and must be approved by the International Scholars Office (ISO) prior to accepting employment.
  • H-1B, O and E-3 visas are restricted to temporary workers in specialty occupations.
  • TN visas are restricted to Mexicans and Canadians workers in specialty occupations.

Award, Prize or Research Subject

Payment as a reward or recognition for a special achievement such as winning a judged competition or payment for participation as a research subject. Standard taxation rate: 30%

Employee Wages

Payments for services that an individual performs or carries out for the University as an employee. Graduated income tax tables apply.  


Payment to an individual for a presentation-oriented, guest lecture or invitational event. Standard taxation rate: 30%

Independent Contractor and Performer Services

Payments for services performed by individuals who are not employees and who meet the criteria on UW Form 1632. Standard taxation rate: 30%

Living Allowances

Payments made to support a foreign national coming to Seattle.  Can be issued without an honorarium.  Generally not considered taxable income.

  • Download Living Allowance Payments to a Foreign National (no honorarium) (Checklist)
  • Review Living Allowance section on the UW Travel Office website

Non-UW Scholarship

Scholarship payment to Non-UW students or Non-UW employees, such as a department awarding a scholarship to a student attending a different school or paying a Non-UW individual for participating in a training or conference.


Payments made for the use of intangible (royalty) property. Various tax rates apply up to 30% withholding - see IRS Publication 515 for specific details.

Scholarship and Fellowship Awards – paid through Student Fiscal Services

A one-time payment to assist a student in pursuing a course of study or research.  Generally not considered taxable income if the recipient is a candidate for a degree and the award is used to pay for tuition, fees and/or other mandatory books, supplies, and equipment required for all students in course of study.  

Service Payments to a Foreign Entity

Payments made to foreign companies or entities. Standard taxation rate: 30% 


Ongoing payment intended to support an individual engaged in academic activity at the UW. Standard taxation rate:  14%

Travel Reimbursements

Payments for expenses incurred while traveling on University business. Generally not considered taxable income.

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